Ms. Ofelia Alamina

R.I.P. Ms. Ofelia Alamina. Miss Feli passed away Nov 30 around noon after close to 91 years on this Earth. Our deepest condolences go out to Rose Marin and the extended Alamina family...

This is the eulogy for Ms. Ofelia Alamina. Ms. Ofelia was born in 1926. A lot has changed on Caye Caulker since she the day she was born. May she R.I.P.

Ofelia Alamina
Dec 6, 1926 - Nov 29, 2017

Good day, everyone. Thank you for taking the time today to come and pay your last respects to the deceased with us. Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Miss Ofelia Alamina, eldest daughter to my grandparents, Valentin and Marina Alamina, was born on December 6, 1926 right here on Caye Caulker. Miss Felly, as she was affectionately known, was the older sister to my mother, which made her Tia Felly to my siblings and me.

Tia Felly was raised and attended elementary school right here on Caye Caulker. During those days, there was no electricity on the island, and life on the island was pretty remote. Wanting to experience more out of life, Tia Felly moved to Belize City, where she spent many years working in retail, in particular at the Vogue retail store near the swing bridge.

On October 12, 1961, Tia Felly gave birth to her only child, Rosaura. Wanting more for her daughter than the hustle and bustle of city life, Tia Felly returned to Caye Caulker, and to her roots, to raise "Rose", the name by which my cousin is known to us.

Back on Caye Caulker, Tia Felly began to wear many hats. She began to sew professionally, and became one of the most sought-after seamstresses on the island. Her custom creations were works of art. Many a bride, bridesmaid, and even beauty queens sought out her services and she never disappointed. She would literally stay up many nights sewing sequins one by one, by hand, into some of her creations. The quality of her creations rivaled creations available for purchase in high end stores today.

But that was not all - Tia Felly also loved baking. In short order, she became the go-to person for birthday cakes, wedding cakes, and special occasion cakes of every kind. She would bake and decorate each cake lovingly, and with the most intricate designs, despite the fact that there was no electricity on the island to power kitchen appliances or gadgets. As a child, I felt like the luckiest person in the world to be in her company when she was baking, as I got to eat the delicious excess frosting and cake mixes.

Back in those same days, my grandparents owned one of the very few grocery stores on the island. In addition to practicing her crafts, Tia Felly would assist her parents with the grocery store, running and managing it day in and day out, right up until the day it closed its doors several decades later.

Not one to just sit idly by, Tia Felly then sought out other opportunities. When Caye Caulker got it's first airstrip, and it's first terminal building, Tia Felly attended the inaugural opening ceremony as one of the very first employees of the Caye Caulker Maya Island Air team. She ran the Maya Island office for over a decade, and her supervisor, Mr. Gach Guerrero, will gladly tell you that she was one of the finest employees that's ever worked at that office.

Tia Felly was always religious, but around this time, she began to more fully embrace her spirituality and her religion, and began devoting herself fully to Christ. The Catholic church took notice, and in the 1990's awarded her devotion and faithfulness by anointing her one of the very first female lay ministers on the island -- a title she fully embraced, and still holds, and which she will take with her now on her journey to the promised land to be with her God.

Her greatest achievement, however, is the light she shone and the love she showed to us, her family members. Although Tia Felly only had one biological child, there are many extended family members gathered in this room today who will gladly tell you that, although they called her "Tia Felly," - to them, she was either the only mother they ever had, their surrogate mother, or a beloved 2nd mother. Or, as in the case of my daughter Bianca, a beloved god-mother. They, and we, were all her children, which she nurtured, loved and raised into adulthood as if they, and we, were her own. No one who stayed in her home felt anything but "at home." Her love for all of her family members was boundless and endless.

Right up to the very end, she never turned her back on a single family member who knocked on her door asking for help. She was loving, she was kind-hearted, she was happy, and funny, she was very giving, and she was very free with her generosity of love, spirit and sharing.

Tia Felly is survived by her only child - Rosaura Marin, known as "Rose"; the many nieces and nephews she raised as if they were her own; three grand-children - Joshua Marin, Chantel Marin, and Manuel Guerra; and four great grand children - Courtney Matus, Sassia Marin, Madyson Broadhurst and Laurel Broadhurst. She is also survived by three sisters -- Esther Whelan, Isabel Marin, Ilna Auxillou; and two brothers -- Norman Alamina, Ruben Alamina.

R.I.P. Tia Felly, we love you, and we will never forget you and the love and kindness you shared with all of us your entire life.

Ofelias House Caye Caulker Belize is a painting by Lee Vanderwalker